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Burford pins hopes on works to avoid repeat of flooding
FLOOD prevention work has been carried out in Burford to stop a repeat of last year’s disastrous flooding.
Heavy downpours at the end of last year flooded the main car park and it had to be shut for a total of three weeks, hitting local traders.
The town's district councillor Derek Cotterill estimated the closure cost some businesses between £500 and £1,000 each.
The Guildenford car park, which has almost 200 spaces, closed at the end of November, the week before Christmas and a week in early January.
West Oxfordshire District Council, which owns the car park, has carried out work to open up two spillways from the River Windrush and clear silt from the river bed to reduce water levels and improve the flow of water.
The work, which will help prevent the risk of flooding, cost £5,000.
The spillways will redirect water from heavy rains back into the River Windrush and the work will be monitored to ensure there are no damaging environmental or commercial impacts.
The council has also levelled the car park surface and fixed potholes.
Mr Cotterill said: “It had a dramatic effect on the town. It is the only proper car park in the town, apart from on-street parking.
“But that can get very congested and there are 167 spaces in the car park that could not be used and those customers were then lost.”
Joshua Taee, a director at Huffkins cafe and bakery, said: “What we also have to worry about is the impact on our business, especially around hygiene, when there is flooding.
“So hopefully these defences will stop any flooding like last year.”
The district council's cabinet member for environment, David Harvey, said: “The car park was badly affected by flooding last winter and this had a significant impact on the town.
“We want to avoid a repeat of this and are very hopeful that this work will prevent serious flooding so that the car park can continue running smoothly, which is vital for the town’s businesses and tourism industry.”
The chairman of Burford Chamber of Trade, Jennifer Smith, said: “Last year’s floods had an impact on trade during the Christmas season. We hope improvements will reduce flood problems.”
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